Cycling is the best way to get around town, if it wasn't then the cycle messenger wouldn't exist. It works anywhere where there's an urban environment that gets clogged by motorised traffic.
It's the fastest way to get from one side of town to the other, it's cheaper than driving, better for the planet, healthier, more fun and it reduces congestion. Hurrah for the bicycle!
Of course there are downsides, the weather can be one of them, but then cycling in the rain can actually be quite nice. The only weather that really bugs me when I'm on the bike is wind. Grinding into a headwind for miles can be very demoralising!
From my perspective the biggest danger to cyclists is other people, specifically other road users who are generally sitting in a motorised vehicle, completely oblivious to what's going on outside.
You only have to look at the footage from the Tour de France over the weekend to see what happens when a driver isn't paying attention. Instead of potentially scraping his car against a tree, the driver of this vehicle swerves into the road and takes out two riders!
It's a shocking piece of driving and it's lucky that both riders were able to continue and finish the stage, despite one of them being thrown into a barbed wire fence!
It was also very sad to see Bradley Wiggins out of the race with a broken collarbone, he was on excellent form this year and many people were hoping to see him on the podium in Paris; I just hope he can recover fully.
To be involved in a pile up that ends your race so early on must be incredibly frustrating for him, especially after all the preparation that is focussed around this one race.
Following last week’s blog, I asked for some feedback and I got some! I am hoping to incorporate a few suggestions as I go along.
One point that was made was about where to ride ensuring that you don't break the law. One place to get good information is www.gettingabout.info.
As well as being able to download copies of the latest cycling maps of the area it also gives useful information regarding cycling safety and initiatives as well as links to various cycling related organisations.
There was another interesting comment against last week's blog by Gooby. He (or is it she?) separates "cyclists" from "bike riders" and I completely understand his point. The statement made was this "...bike rider on a barely rideable bike with no brakes and 2 sizes too small.
Smoking his cigarette and riding his little sister’s bike, he crossed 4 lanes of traffic by weaving through the traffic against the flow. A cyclist would never behave in this way."
When I started this blog I made the same differentiation, but now I have come to realise that it's only "cyclists" that do this, to everyone else a person on a bike is a cyclist!
Everyone in a car is a driver, everyone on a motorbike is a biker and everyone walking is a pedestrian. We are all in this together irrespective of how much our bike is worth, what we wear or how we ride.
The bad cyclists give us a bad name, just the same way as the bad drivers give all drivers a bad name, the only difference is that cyclists are in the minority and so get picked on!
Think happy thoughts!
Based on information supplied by David Brown.